Art Project

There, It has grown. 2013-2021

Naoki Sato

As a graphic designer active in a wide range of genres from magazines and books to art events, Naoki Sato produced the project “Central East Tokyo” (area renovation project) during 2003 – 2010, and was involved in the founding of the art center, 3331 Arts Chiyoda. After that, he shifted focus on making drawings starting from his involvement in the festival known as “TRANS ARTS TOKYO”.

His series “There, It has grown”, beginning in 2013 with “TRANS ARTS TOKYO 2013” (former grounds of Tokyo Denki University), still continues to develop to this day. These monochrome drawings focused on plants currently reach 200 meters in length. Moved toward drawing by the shock experienced after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, since then Sato continues making works as if they are growing weeds. For the Tokyo Biennale, he plans to exhibit works from “There, It has grown”, together with those from “Seizoroisaka” (translated as, “slopes gathered together”) created between his process.

(As of March 2020)

1: “Unexplored Tokyo: There, It has grown-” 2017, 3331 Arts Chiyoa (Tokyo)
2: “Sato Naoki Exhibition: Circulating Pages and Murals” 2019, Art Museum & Library, Ota (Gunma)
3: First “There, It has grown-” 2013, Seizoroizaka 2014-2019


Naoki Sato (Tokyo Biennale 2020 Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, Painter)

Born 1961 in Tokyo. After graduating from Hokkaido University of Education, Sato studied sociology of education and sociolinguistics at Shinshu University. He then completed painting courses by Mokuma Kikuhata at Bigakko. In 1998, he founded the company Asyl Design (current name: Asyl). Sato produced the local project “Central East Tokyo” during 2003–2010. In 2010, he was involved in the founding of the art center, 3331 Arts Chiyoda. From his participation in the local art festival, Trans Arts Tokyo, he began to shift his focus on creating drawings. He has received numerous awards in Japan and overseas including his work becoming part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent Collection. Catalogs of artwork include “Unexplored Tokyo: There, It has grown” (Tokyo Kirara Co., 2017), and he has written
“Never Disappearing Between Art and Design” (Shobunsha Co., 2017), “Sato Naoki Exhibition: Circulating Pages and Murals -Exhibition of book and art vol.3” (Art Museum and Library, Ota / Bijutsu (Shuppan-sha Co., 2019), and other works. Sato also currently serves as instructor at Bigakko, and professor at Tama Art University.

Art Project